Starting points for winter trails

Oulanka National Park Map © Parks and Wildlife Finland

Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, 12 km, Circle Trail 

Snowshoeing Skiing Fireplace Open wilderness hut Parking Disposal toilet Lean-to shelter

Available almost all year round, by snowshoes in winter, and by hiking boots.
Estimated travel time 5‒6 h
Category: 
Intermediate trail intermediate 

What is the longest hanging bridge on the Pieni Karhunkierros Trail? Does Jyrävä Waterfall freeze in winter? The most popular day-trip trail in Oulanka takes you (all year round?) to the River Kitkajoki landscape, across rapids, through pine heaths and herb-rich forests by streams, offering you splendid views. 

A snowshoer on the Pieni Karhunkierros Trail. Photo: Sanna Saarela

Starting Point 
Village of Juuma, Retkietappi holiday village, Juumantie 134, Kuusamo 

Coordinates 
ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7351965 E: 607890, WGS84 lat 66o 16.1398' lon 29o 24.1771'  

Hiking Structures 
Along this gravelled trail, you will find campfire sites, a lean-to shelter, an open wilderness hut, a day-trip hut, three hanging bridges and long wooden stairs to the Kallioportti lookout point. There are woodsheds and dry toilets at the rest spots. There are no rubbish bins at the rest spots. Take toilet paper with you. 

Sights 
The hanging bridges, the Niskakoski Rapids, the Myllykoski Rapids, Myllytupa, which is a restored mill building by the Myllykoski Rapids, the Aallokkokoski Rapids, Jyrävä Waterfall, the Kallioportti lookout point 

Trail Description 
Trail markings: green paint signs 

Recommended direction: anticlockwise 

Pieni Karhunkierros is a day-trip trail with handsome views in the southern part of the park, along the River Kitkajoki. Along this trail, which partly follows the Karhunkierros Trail, you will see many of Oulanka's most famous sights. Due to the altitude differences and the length, it is one of the most demanding day-trip trails in Oulanka. 

You can set off for this trail either from the village of Juuma or from the Basecamp Oulanka's parking area close to the Myllykoski Rapids. There is no winter maintenance on this trail, but usually the section between the Myllykoski Rapids and Jyrävä Waterfall is also available in winter. The Myllykoski Day-trip Hut is maintained by the Town of Kuusamo. There is a brochure on the trail, Pieni Karhunkierros Trail ‒ Trail Guide and Map. The map can be printed (pdf, julkaisut.metsa.fi). 

 

Kiutaköngäs Trail, 1 km / Direction 

Snowshoeing Visitor Centre Fireplace Parking Disposal toilet

Available all year round
Estimated travel time 1 h
Category: 
Easy trail easy 

The Kiutaköngäs scenic trail is an excellent day-trip trail, all year round.  

Kiutaköngäs is a destination that can be accessed all year round. Photo: Markku Pirttimaa

Starting Point 
Oulanka Visitor Centre's parking area 

Coordinates 
ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7362886 E: 603506, WGS84 lat 66o 22.1023' lon 29o 18.8632' 

Hiking Structures 
There are wooden stairs, earth steps and a few wide wooden bridges along this gravelled trail. A woodshed and a dry toilet by the roofed rest spot. Take toilet paper with you. 

Sights 
River Oulankajoki, the Kiutaköngäs Rapids, the memorial for Reino Rinne, the plant information boards, the dolomite cliff walls 

Trail Description 
Trail markings: orange paint signs, green paint signs, blue-and-white cone signs Recommended direction: either direction 

A scenic trail that starts from the Oulanka Visitor Centre. The trail runs along the riverbank and takes you to the Kiutaköngäs Rapids. The trail is part of many other trails, such as the Karhunkierros Trail and the Hiiden hurmos Trail. There are hikers along the trail, all year round, so it can also be done in winter. There is no winter maintenance on the trail. The rest spot is located at a distance of 100 metres from the Kiutaköngäs Rapids, further on the riverbank. 

 

Hiiden hurmos Trail, 5 km, Circle Trail 

Snowshoeing Visitor Centre Fireplace Open wilderness hut Parking Disposal toilet Lean-to shelter

Available all year round, a snowshoe trail in winter
Estimated travel time 2‒3 h
Category:
Intermediate trail intermediate 

When hiking along the Hiiden hurmos Trail, you will travel in the footsteps of the ancient spirit called Hiisi along the banks of the Kiutaköngäs Rapids and in spacious pine forests. Depending on the season, you may see reindeer, gorgeous calypsos or stubborn mountain avens when hiking on the trail. The information boards along the trail provide you with fascinating stories, and, perhaps, they also reveal what type of rock the handsome Kiutaköngäs cliffs consists of. 

Hiiden hurmos is one of Oulanka's snowshoe trails. Photo: Susanna Kolehmainen / Metsähallitus

Starting Point  
Oulanka Visitor Centre 

Coordinates 
ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7362886 E: 603506, WGS84 lat 66o 22.1023' lon 29o 18.8632'  

Hiking Structures 
An observation tower by a former reindeer roundup enclosure, wooden duckboards on the shores of Hiidenlampi Ponds, a former meadow barn, the roofed rest spot of Kiutaköngäs (including a woodshed and a dry toilet). There are an axe and a saw in the woodshed for chopping wood. Take toilet paper with you. 

Sights 
The gushing Kiutaköngäs Rapids are handsome in all seasons. By the former reindeer roundup enclosure, you can almost hear the stamping of hooves that used to take place there in the old days. 

Trail Description 
Trail markings: blue-and-white pine cones or blue-and-white snowflakes 

Recommended direction: anticlockwise  

This gravelled trail runs through varied, slightly undulating forests and by one of the most famous sights in Oulanka, the Kiutaköngäs Rapids, which are almost 200 metres long. The trail starts and ends at the Oulanka Visitor Centre. 

Please Note 
The trail is a hiking trail in summer and a snowshoe trail in winter. The Oulanka Wilderness Trail passes by the Hiiden hurmos Trail in late winter. 

 

Oulanka Wilderness Trail, 26 km / Direction 

Snowshoeing Skiing Winter biking Visitor Centre Fireplace Open wilderness hut Parking Disposal toilet Lean-to shelter

Available from mid-February to April, by snowshoes or by fatbike
The estimated travel time 1‒2 days
Category: 
Demanding trail demanding 

Go exploring the winter wilderness of Oulanka by snowshoes, skis or by fatbike ‒ on the Oulanka Wilderness Trail, you may see a fox running on the river ice or a boreal owl that is on the lookout on a spruce crown. 

The wilderness trail that runs from the vicinity of River Oulankajoki to Juuma is suitable for fatbiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Photo: © Harri Mourujärvi

Starting Point 
Oulanka Visitor Centre or Juuma 

Coordinates 
Oulanka Visitor Centre:  ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7362886 E: 603506, WGS84 lat 66o 22.1023' lon 29o 18.8632' 

Juuma: ETRS-TM35FIN N: 7351997 E: 607884, WGS84 lat 66o 16.1569' lon 29o 24.1700'  

Hiking Structures 
The Ansakämppä and Jussinkämppä Open Wilderness Huts, campfire sites. Take toilet paper with you.  

Sights 
Kiutaköngäs Rapids, Oulanka's most peaceful wilderness parts 

Trail Description 
Trail markings: yellow‒orange ribbons 

Recommended direction: not defined 

You can go on a day trip or stay overnight on the Oulanka Wilderness Trail, enjoying the forest in late winter. The trail runs from the Kiutaköngäs Rapids to the Jussinkämppä Open Wilderness Hut, along the Karhunkierros Trail, and then it branches off, by Jussinkämppä, towards Juuma. 

The trail is levelled once a week by snowmobile. No skiing trail. Due to the altitude differences and the narrowness of the trail, this is a challenging trail. The trail is maintained in April till the end of the crusty snow period.  

Customer Service

Oulanka Visitor Centre
Tel. int. +358 206 39 6850
Email: oulanka(at)metsa.fi

Kuusamo Customer Service Karhuntassu
Tel. int. +358 206 39 6804
Email: karhuntassu(at)metsa.fi

Parking Areas 

  • Oulanka Visitor Centre 
    • Liikasenvaarantie 132, 93900 Kuusamo 
    • Open all year round 
  • Juumantie 134, Retkietappi holiday village 
    • Open all year round  

Excursion Proposals for winter

Half a day: Admire the wintry Kiutaköngäs Rapids and explore the visitor centre. 

1 day: Go snowshoeing in Oulanka's winter wilderness, along the Hiiden hurmos Trail (5 km) or explore the visitor centre. 

2 days: Feel the magic of winter on the Oulanka Wilderness Trail (26 km) by skis or by snowshoes and stay overnight at an open wilderness hut.